Persuasion vs. Manipulation

In this blog post I will be discussing the issue of persuasive presentation versus manipulation.  Persuasion and manipulation are very similar concepts as they both involve reaching the same end goal but the methods to reaching the end goal are very different.  Persuasion involves presenting the client or decision maker with all the information that you know of and arguing why they should pick your solution the problem. Manipulation is a lot sneakier than persuasion as you often misdirect the client or decision maker by not presenting all the information or by only presenting the “good” information or data to make them pick your solution. People who manipulate others often lie about the information they are presenting as well as they present their idea in an unfair way.  When presenting information to a decision maker such as a Minister, it is very important to ensure you convey your finding in a way that are both honest and meaningful to the decision maker while sticking only to the results.

Policy analyst must ensure they advance knowledge while avoiding harm and ensuring the methods and data presented are relevant and appropriate without favouritism. The job of a policy analyst is to present the results in a straightforward and non misleading way which may involve avoiding visualization techniques if it will sway a person’s thoughts. As a policy analyst you must ensure that the information you are trying to communicate is understandable and does not sway the persons opinion based on the way it is presented.  You should also ensure that the information is not changed in an unfair way to serve one’s purpose and ensure the decision maker knows all the facts without hiding them in a manipulating way.

As a policy analyst it is very important to remember that you are trying to present data and information in an ethical way. If you know that the decision maker may be influences by visual rhetoric you must ensure you avoid any biases and stick to the facts.  You want to present your information and data in an ethical way while still ensuring your analysis resonates with the person you are presenting for.  Always ensure that you advance your knowledge in a way that is relevant to the reader while remaining fair to your audience.

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